Erithia’s Ire

Art for Erithia's Ire Dark Fantasy Short Story

Erithia’s Ire

Having slain his superior in a show of strength. Will The Commander receive the power he seeks or the unforgiving wrath of the god of death?
Skip to Story
Art for Erithia's Ire Dark Fantasy Short Story
This art was created by Melvin A. A freelancer from Upwork. Is it published under ©2023 All Rights Reserved. Melvin owns the rights to this image and has given me permission to use it on my website. You can find more of his work via his profile on Upwork.


Redemption Arc, Pantheon of Gods, Elemental Magic, Evil is Sexy

Trigger Warnings

Blood/Gore, Graphic Violence

Erithia's Ire

The Good Soldier Chapter 1

The Commander sneered over his fallen enemy, watching the anguish etched into his victim’s gaze. He relished the throbbing of the warrior’s failing heart, shredding itself against the enduring edge of his blade. Crimson blood, hot and viscous, coated the brandished hilt, soaking into his grip. Panicked breath plumed as puffs of steam in the frigid summer air.

The dying soldier clawed his murderer’s breastplate, smudging blood over the dusty black steel till his hands fell away, as did the life in his eyes. With a foot firmly placed against the corpse’s naked chest, The Commander shoved the carcass off his sword.

The course frozen earth of the glacial-carved tundra ran slick with deep red mud, quenched by the aftermath of the massacre. The Commander’s men combed the shallow, ice mottled hills of the arctic desert, bathed in the cursed violet light of enduring twilight. Bodies littered the ground, all garbed in varying degrees of furs and light armor. Not one of the fallen wore the obsidian armored uniforms of their Empire. He’d caught his rival unprepared.

In pursuit of the setting westward sun, a lunar colossus breached the veil of the eastward horizon. The grandest in a triad, ascending to converge with its celestial siblings. He had chosen his night carefully, the rarest night of three full moons.

The Commander closed his eyes, indulging in the stifling perfume of a battle long fought. The miasma of blood, bile, and sweat evoked a smile, only broadened by the wails of the dying. It was a grim contrast to the deafening cries of war that had dominated the air only moments before.  

“Commander!” One of his soldiers called from over an adjacent hill.  

“Finally,” The Commander’s grip tightened upon the hilt of his sword. He slung the blood from his blade before trekking over the mound of earth.

Four soldiers, weapons drawn, encircled an elderly man garbed in the tattered remnants of a general’s uniform. His dark gray skin was a stark contrast to his thin silver hair. He bore the scarred complexion of an aging warrior far beyond his prime. A trickle of blood cascaded from a laceration above his eye. Still more seeped from an unseen wound. The man met the gaze of the commanding officer, his shoulders convulsing in mirth as he unleashed a boisterous cackle that echoed toward the sky.

“Oh, Commander,” The General leveled his sight with the other. “What shall you do with your petty victory? Revel in your vain glory? Run to Erthia, declaring your achievement? You think they’ll be pleased?”

The Commander gave no retort, choosing to answer only by  audaciously tossing his sword before the elder. 

The general’s smile faded, jaw set as he eyed the blade. “After all this cowardice,” He growled. “You make a show of granting me a warrior’s death? I think not.” The general kicked the sword back to the commander before falling to his knees and looking to the darkening sky. “Well?”

An amalgamation of ire and agitation stirred under The Commander’s skin as his lips sneered. With the weight of his wrath, he surged forward, reaching  for the sword. One fluid motion. The Murderer halted beside the general’s corps, savoring the wet impact of his sword against flesh and the metallic scrape of steel against spine. He treasured the satisfying crunch of the general’s head hitting ice.

“Sound the horn. We march to Armafel. Erithia will hear me.”


The shadows of night soon enveloped the commander’s marching horde. Their black armor transformed into a kaleidoscope of luminous white and gold, a reflection of the celestial trinity’s radiance. 

As they traveled south, shimmering pools of ice soon transformed to jagged rocks that jutted from the earth like menacing pikes. Amidst the craggy terrain, night-blooming flora flourished, their thorny stems ablaze with a plethora of bioluminescent hues, from serene cerulean to lustrous lavender.

Before them loomed the grand mesa of Armafel, a formidable presence that rose like a bastion of shadow, guarded by a pair of ebony monoliths. Their sheer, gleaming heights held a timeless watch over the land, casting a blanket of darkness over the barren earth. To the Erithian Empire, they were conduits of their god, heralds of unwavering strength, ancient masters ever watchful and unyielding in their stoic gaze.

The Commander and his elite procession ascended the sheer-faced mountain path, leaving the remaining army encamped in the ravine below. They marched boldly toward the summit, each step a note in the symphony of their resolve.

His hand picked elite stood resolute on the frigid windswept plateau, like sculpted warriors forged by the hand of war.  Each dressed in thick, silky black fur cloaks that glistened in the moonlight. The commander loomed separate from his esteemed subordinates. His revered helmet, a symbol of martial prestige, rested in the bend of his arm. A well-groomed beard of midnight black seamlessly melded into his ashen skin.

The Commander gazed at the towering black pillars that stood guard at the brink of the plateau, and the pristine altar they overshadowed. His face a semblance of silent contemplation. 

Darkness fell as a thick cloud passed over the moons. All dwindled to an eerie silence, disturbed only by the rustling of the wind whispering secrets too obscure to understand. When the curtain lifted, a tower of shadow remained between the obelisks, shrouding the altar. 

A barrage of armored fists struck the earth, ringing a metallic melody across the cragged highlands. A once glittering mass of reflected lunar light was consumed by a wave of darkness. The black tide flowed over the army, their billowing silky furs resembling the starless void above. 

The Commander, head held high, stood from his kneeling posture, helmet discarded on the ground.

“I demand what’s mine!” The man’s voice echoed loudly across the mountainside, unchallenged by even the slightest noise. “I, alone, led this legion into battle and slaughtered my enemy. I lay claim to my enemy’s rank by right!”  

Several of the soldiers behind him shuffled uneasily, like a troupe of jesters awaiting their king’s laughter. The silence lingered till a muffled cough disrupted the hush.

The man’s unfaltering voice monologued on. “I’m owed ascension in rank, and a mission of mine own! I challenged him and his army, for they were weak and slow. I lost not a single man of mine own in the battle.”

The solemn stillness of the plateau shattered as a resonant growl rolled through the air, causing loose rocks to tumble from their perches and plunge down the mountainside.

They stilled themselves as the pillar erupted into a maelstrom of darkness that spiraled back toward the altar. Black smoke coalesced, forming a rich black, hooded silk cloak adorned with shimmering gold floral designs that cascaded over a majestic figure. Their skin, an unnatural white, was immaculate and unmarred. Erithia’s effeminate features were serene, yet their eyes a coal black, gleamed with silver iridescent irises exuding a demeaning gaze that mocked the commander’s very existence. 

The commander stumbled back as the dark god approached, veins choked with crippling fear. 

“You truly are a pitiful creature, oh dishonorable commander, boasting of trifling accomplishments as though they hold weight in my presence. I’d find it almost amusing had you not caused such inconvenience with The General’s death.” Erithia placed a heavy hand on The Commander’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, you aren’t alone in your delusions of grandeur.”

“Erithia, I—” The commander stopped as Erithia pressed down, buckling the commander’s knees into a kneeling position.

“It’s a pity your desires are so trivial, so— tasteless. You desire power for power’s sake, nothing more.” Erithia sighed, releasing the commander and examining the army he’d brought in demonstration. “Don’t worry, I shan’t hold it against you—yet.” Their face flashed with a wicked grin. “After all, you must’ve done something to win their loyalty. Such an uncommon thing for a weekling like yourself to possess. Play your cards right and you may earn my favor after all.”

Erithia bade the commander to arise with a wave of his hand. “Perhaps we can come to an agreement. As I said, The General’s death is unfortunate for me. He was—important. You will assume his duties. In return, I’ll pardon you for his murder.”

“What would you have me do?” The Commander bowed his head in acceptance.

Erithia’s laughter rolled through the air before he spoke, his voice booming with commanding presence that brokered no dissent. “Your path, mortal, lies southward. Through the veiled roads you’ll travel to Rabanath with this force of one hundred. Then, through the mountains, where the dragons dwell. Should you survive, you will be free from my influence. Let loyalty be your guide, for it alone will uncover your purpose. Succeed, and upon your honorable death you will receive the power you so desperately crave. But do not forget who holds the reins of fate, and who commands the might of shadow.”

No sooner had the last syllable echoed than the first flickers of sunrise cascaded over the plateau. Their rays extinguished the luminous flora and again bathed the terrain in the north’s haunting, never-ending twilight.

The soldiers obeyed the commander’s unspoken directive as they followed him down the mountain  and back to the waiting army.

“Commander,” a man called as he ran to The Commander’s side. “If you would, what has the great Erithia given for us to do?”

“We will travel to Rabanath and find a path through The Dragon Fang Mountains.” The man stopped at this news, whispering, “But that is dragon territory.”

“It is not ours to question. He has commanded it, and so we shall do.” The Commander strolled further into the camp, scanning those who passed for any sign of disloyalty. 

“Yes, so we shall do,” exclaimed the man, all misgivings forgotten.

Despite Erithia’s words, The Commander’s mind raced with treasonous doubt. Though the familiar anticipation of battle surged through every muscle, the prospect of facing the dragon swarm elicited only fear. Images of a field ablaze with the scaled beasts reigning over his fallen soldiers plagued his mind. The merger force he’d be granted would not be enough for a single devil, much less the number they’d face with their trespass. Erithia’s intention was clear. He was to lead his one hundred to their deaths.

Recent Posts


Rise of The Witnesses Dark Fantasy Book. Blight of Divinity Book 1 Cover by Miblart

Rise of The Witnesses

Experience a dark and thrilling fantasy romance full of adventure, death, action and corrupting darkness.

Betrayal and tragedy have stolen everything from Ayela. Desperate and alone, she must decide between accepting a deal from the notorious God of Death and Desire, or forging her own path for survival. Yet, with each choice she makes, the future grows more uncertain. As she navigates a world of magic and intrigue, Ayela finds herself drawn to someone she never expected to love. But with her own heart at stake, can she afford to follow her feelings? Will she emerge from the ashes of her past, or be consumed by the shadows that haunt her?

Found Family, Pantheon of Gods, Evil is Sexy, Elemental Magic, Underworld, The Underdog, Deal with The Devil, LGBT,

Abuse, Death, Murder, Gore, Addiction, Abandonment

Get The Sample



Beta Readers Wanted

How to become a beta reader

If you're interested in becoming a beta reader for Rise of The Witnesses, Message me on the social media.

What is a beta reader?

Just like a video-game beta tester, a beta reader of Rise of The Witnesses reads an unpublished book. They give direct feedback to the author, who makes any changes required before publishing the book.